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Visit of John Bell 2019 - Hills Anglicans

Visit of John Bell 2019

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Visit of John Bell 2019

We are proud to welcome John Bell of the Iona Community to the Perth Hills on 6 and 7 May 2019.

John Bell is a preacher, hymnwriter, composer, lecturer and broadcaster. He is an ordained minister of the Church of Scotland and a member of the Iona Community. During his studies in Theology, he became the first (and last) student Rector of the University of Glasgow. After a period in the Netherlands and two posts in church youth work, he became employed in the areas of music and worship, founding during that time, with Graham Maule, the Wild Goose Worship Group and the Wild Goose Resource Group.

He is a past convenor of the Church of Scotland’s Panel on Worship and the committee that produced the ground-breaking Church Hymnary 4. In 1999, he was honoured by the Presbyterian Church of Canada and the Royal School of Church Music which bestowed on him a Fellowship. He was awarded in 2002 an honorary doctorate by the University of Glasgow, and in 2013 the Community of Christ International Peace Award. John has produced many collections of liturgy, scripts, sermons and reflections, original hymns and songs (some in collaboration with Graham) and three collections of songs of the World Church, and is primarily concerned with the renewal of congregational worship at grass roots level.

John will offer four opportunities to learn, reflect and grow. The daytime ‘workshops’ are interactive sessions, with a maximum of 30 participants. The evening ‘lectures’ are talks with questions, with a maximum of 80 participants. All events will take place at St Cuthbert’s Anglican Church, cnr Darlington and Hilldsen Roads, Darlington WA.

Please register as soon as possible to reserve your place. Registrations are transferable if you are unable to attend, but no refunds are offered. Registration is only available online via credit card.

Details of the workshops and lectures are below. Click ‘register’ to book your ticket online.


Teaching Congregational Song
Monday 6 May, 3.00pm-5.30pm
Cost: $50/$40

John will teach attitudes and practices which help congregations to sing. The skills you learn in this workshop will help you to foster participation in singing for any group, and you’ll learn some simple new songs along the way.

God and Man And Woman
Tuesday 7 May, 3.00pm-5.30pm
Cost: $50/$40

In the light of scripture, Christian tradition, and contemporary social and scientific insights – what does it mean to be a man or woman made in the image of God? John will explore issues of sexuality and gender with the group from his perspective as a queer man, while drawing on the rich and diverse contributions of other thinkers both current and historical.


The Hidden Humour in Holy Scripture
Monday 6 May, 7.00pm-9.30pm
Cost: $40/$30

Does God laugh? Can the people of God giggle? Might our serious, leather-bound bibles actually be replete with hilarity? Drawing on his rich biblical knowledge (and a wicked sense of humour) John will delve into the scriptures to find the hidden humour.

Sing Like You Mean It: The Effect of Text on Faith Development
Tuesday 7 May, 7.00pm-9.30pm
Cost: $40/$30

What shall I bring him, poor as I am, if I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb… which could be slaughtered and barbecued for dinner?

My Jesus, my saviour… I want you all to myself and I’m not sharing?

What is the effect of the language we use in public worship, especially the words that we sing? As the only known human being to include the word ‘kitchen’ in a published hymn, John will address the theological impact of the words we sing in liturgy and challenge us to find new and better ways to sing the faith.

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